Final Budget Protects Ethics Investigations

In this update: 1. Senate language hindering ethics probes removed from state budget 2. Reform bill to get committee vote, two more to get hearing Final Budget Protects Ethics Investigations 

Email date: 6/29/09

In this update:
1. Senate language hindering ethics probes removed from state budget
2. Reform bill to get committee vote, two more to get hearing

Legislators finished work on the state budget Friday and Governor Jim Doyle is signing it today. Gone from the budget is the Senate amendment that would have seriously undermined the Government Accountability Board’s ability to independently investigate political corruption and other wrongdoing by state officials. Removal of the Senate language from the final version of the budget that lawmakers reached agreement on is an important victory that prevents the unraveling of the landmark 2007 ethics reform law that the Democracy Campaign and reform allies fought so long and hard for.

Thank you to all who responded to our June 19 and June 22 E-Lerts and contacted legislators to protest the Senate leadership’s sneak attack on independent ethics enforcement and insist that the amendment be dumped. Your effort paid off.

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The Democracy Campaign will be testifying tomorrow at an Assembly committee hearing in support of a proposal to prohibit convicted felons from becoming lobbyists and another that repeals a state law requiring state officials to be notified of the name and address of any citizen who requests to examine the statement of economic interests officials must file with the state.

After the public hearing, an executive session is being held to vote on Assembly Bill 245 requiring a one-year waiting period before a former member of the Legislature can become a lobbyist.